Backup Exec - B2D using removable SATA drives?

Posted on 2009-02-18
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
Anyone use Backup Exec to backup to disk with SATA drives?  Swapping out the drives like tapes?

I have Backup Exec12.5, with five 1 TB SATA drives.   I want to have a supply of these drives on hand and swap them like tapes.  
My weekly full backups are about 2 TB.  So The jobs would span 2 drives.
Daily Differential jobs would fit under 1 TB.
Do I create Removable B2D folders or just B2D folders on them?
At this point I have to shut down the machine to swap the drives before it (either Windows Server 2003 or Backup Exec) will recognize them.
Anyone do this?
Can I easily add remove the drives and Backup  Exec will know what is on them?
How do you keep the data organized by date?
Question by:PROJHOPE
    LVL 9

    Accepted Solution

    I did use SATA drives and use to swap the drives like tapes and this is the only way to make sure both windows and backup exec identify the drives.

    Do I create Removable B2D folders or just B2D folders on them? - create removable Backup to disk folders so that the catalog can save this data

    Can I easily add remove the drives and Backup  Exec will know what is on them? - yes you can

    How do you keep the data organized by date? - when ever you perform a backup the header information is been stored in catalog so that next time when the device is plugged in the bkf file is been identified you can restore the data, secondly you can format the media with desired name so that when ever you plug in you will know if it is differential or full eg: for diff you can format as D-mm/dd//yy-time and for full F-mm/dd/yy-time, this way you will be able to manage your disks accordingly.

    hope this helps

    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    • Those SATA drives are being identified by Windows as removable drives because technically they ARE removable drives. Part of the SATA specification is that such drives are hot-swappable. if they were used only for data storage youd be able to use the Safely Remove Hardware utility and disconnect them just like any other removable drive.

    • Just Create B2D folders on them..


    Author Comment

    The drives do not show up in the Safely Romove Hardware utility.  All I see are USB devices there, and these are definitely not connected via USB.  

    Also, Windows auto assigns drive letters to the SATA drives, will Backup Exec get confused that when I remove and then add back a SATA drive that it has a totally differentl drive letter assigned by Windows?    If so, I am limited by the alphabet here....

    Author Comment


    I see now on Symantec website that Removable B2D folders do not allow concurrent operations - no more than 1 job can run at a time.  That would be a big problem, wouldn't it?
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    it will not if you run single backup at one time..

    Expert Comment

    It sounds like you might not have AHCI (which permits recognition of hot-swapped SATA drives) enabled in BIOS.  First make sure that you have AHCI-compatible drivers installed for your motherboard's chipset, or you may get a BSOD...

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks all, we ended up using B2D for a few months as a temporary solution until we could get to a tape system with enough storage.
    The system I used was to mount an NTFS share to each drive that I added (with the date as the indentifying name) and then create B2D folders (not removable) using that new pathname.   Tedious and time consuming to do every week, but it worked.

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